Adam Platt manages to elbow his way into Ralph Lauren's curiously impossible-to-get-into Polo Bar. Down a "Downton Abbey-esque staircase," he finds hundreds of horse-related photos, some real polo mallets, and a "professionally executed, middle-of-the-road menu" that reaches for a "clubby sense of occasion." Platt says virtually none of the plates turn out perfectly, but "it could be an awful lot worse." Case-in-point:
Familiar specialties, like Dover sole (beautifully plated but a touch overcooked); a well-charred though less-than-mind-blowing bone-in $55 rib eye; and a tasty, diligently pounded veal chop spackled with bread crumbs and served with some shaved-fennel salad piled on top.
The spot is a bit like Ralph Lauren himself: precisely calculated, loved by the rich and powerful, and entirely enigmatic. Platt gives it one star.